Sara Wiener, owner of Sara Bella Upcycled, is moving her business to downtown Bend after 1½ years in the Makers District.
As of Feb. 1, Sara Bella Upcycled, a shop for items made of recycled plastic, plans to share space at 830 NW Wall St. with Wabi Sabi, a purveyor of Japanese gifts and other items. Wabi Sabi is closed for renovations until then; Sara Bella Upcycled will remain open on NE First Street until Jan. 28, Wiener and Wabi Sabi owner Barb Campbell said. Wiener ran another small business selling fleece outdoor clothing located first on NW Bond Street in the late 1990s and then on NW Wall Street in the early 2000s, she said.
After more than four years in NorthWest Crossing, Wiener in spring 2014 moved Sara Bella to 1234 NE First St. She arrived just as businesses in the area roughly bounded by NE Olney and NE Greenwood avenues and NE First and NE Third streets joined together to promote a Makers District.
Wiener said her business model eventually didn’t mesh well with her enthusiasm for the Makers District.
“I love the concept of a makers’ district,” she said, “but for me, I require walk-in business, and I just did not get it.”
Mike Ross, owner of Natural Edge, on NE Norton Avenue, a maker of furniture from salvaged trees, helped organize and run the business association. He said the concept proved a success in that it raised public awareness of the now 24 businesses in the association.
“I don’t think all of us ever expected to have a lot of foot traffic,” Ross said, “but when people call me, they identify this as the Makers District.”
Shop space in the area rarely goes unfilled, he said. Wiener’s place will be taken by Utilitu, a seamstress, custom sewing and original design shop run by Allison Murphy. She’s moving from a less-visible space on the same street.
“Sara’s space will be my sixth space; I’ve been quite a nomadic seamstress,” Murphy said. “I’m looking forward to this space being my landing place for a long time.”
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